FWD plans joint venture in Shanghai as China relaxes regulation

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Though Tesla has not officially shared any details about Tesla (Shanghai) Co Ltd, the newly-registered company has listed Zhu Xiaotong - the head of Tesla in China - as its legal representative, while Tesla Motors HK Limited has been listed as the sole shareholder of the company.

Beijing announced last month that it would scrap foreign ownership requirements on new-energy vehicles, following President Xi Jinping's pledge to further open the car-making sector to overseas investors.

It was not clear if the new firm was related to the anticipated Shanghai plant.

The business scope of the unit includes technological development and services on electric vehicles, auto parts, batteries, energy storage facilities and solar panel products, according to the website.

"We don't have anything new to add on this news for now", a Tesla spokeswoman told CNET in an emailed statement, adding the company hopes to share more "in the coming months".

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Tesla's aspirations to build a factory in China has been well-known.

Tesla US has been in negotiations with the Chinese authorities for some time now to be given permission to set up its own factory in Shanghai, so that it can produce its electric vehicles locally.

Now, with China promising to loosen its hold on the vehicle market, the biggest gains will be seen by NEV ventures such as Tesla's. It also operates in Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan and has 2.7m customers in Asia, according to its own statistics.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has previously criticized China's tough auto rules for foreign businesses, saying they created an uneven playing field.

The move follows an earlier report that Tesla would unveil the location of a new Chinese "Gigafactory" as early as next quarter.

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